The Soapbox Archives:
It wasn't even the end of the first song that I danced to when my favorite dance partner told me that I smelled nice. I immediately thought "?!?!?!?". She asked me what cologne I was wearing.
"Um....uh....nothing. I just took a shower." She had a good laugh. I gotta go back and take a closer look at that soap I use.
Sometimes real life examples are the best learning experiences. I've talked about how important it was to shower and wear clean clothes when going out dancing. It had always been a rather abstract concept. Now, however, I had proof that it was a pretty damn good idea...and that women notice.
In the midst of the Toyota recalls, I had an idea that I wanted to try out. I have a question for Toyota Prius owners: when you use your windshield wipers, does the windshield streak? I don't want to bias the answers so I'll explain later why I'm asking that question.
Most of the time I get a ride most of the way to work in a Toyota Prius. One issue with this particular car is that the wipers leaves huge streaks across the windshield. I thought it was because the car had old wipers and/or because of the weird wiper fluid concoction. I replaced the wipers on that Prius around the same time I had replaced the ones on my own car but the Prius' wipers still left a huge mess (and mine didn't).
I then remembered that someone at a car parts store had reminded me to wipe the blades clean because they catch dirt such that the wipers will leave streaks across the windshield.
I then noticed that the wipers on the Prius are higher than the top of the hood. It would easily trap dirt in the air coming off the hood. On my own car, the wipers are recessed into the space between the hood and the windshield so they're out of the way of the wind and dirt. The wipers on my car work very well, probably because they stay cleaner. I guess the smaller car has to make more concessions on the design due to space limitations.
If I find time, I'll type it in this week or you'll see it in next week's update.
On a different note:
At work, we had a "candy stash" in one of those rollaway storage bins from Staples or some place. It was on the other side of the building which was good because I would have to walk over there to get my chocolate fix. Imagine if it were in my office?
Most of the people in the office would take a small chunk of chocolate during the date to get them through the morning before lunch or as a mid-afternoon snack. I actually did most of the restocking; that guaranteed that there always be something that I'd like. Some other people left money because they never restocked the chocolate bin.
The person whose office had the chocolate stash left recently and the bin was moved into one of the public areas. For a while, there was still the dollar in the drawer. Recently I restocked the chocolate again (because no one else did) and I noticed that the dollar was gone.
I considered that for a moment.
Imagine going out to dinner and everyone put in their money (plus tip) towards the bill at the end. Imagine one person noticing that the total tip was like...20%-25%..that they (the group) "overpaid"....and taking back some cash to bring the total down to a 15% tip. This person didn't understand that *everyone else* overpaid...on purpose...and that this one person was not entitled to take their money back, especially to the point where that person *underpaid* their portion of the bill.
I wonder if that dollar will reappear.
A contingent from the local Knights of Columbus showed up in their ceremonial gear with capes and swords and stood at attention and kept a vigil over the departed at the wake. I thought it was a very nice touch; I had never seen that before. As usual, I was there to also catch up with people I don't see very often.
The funeral service was also very productive. The schedule was very full but went by very quickly; during that hour, I thought up everything I wanted to say in this week's Soapbox. I paid attention to the singing by the church choir, not because they were loud and kept me from falling asleep, but because they were *good* and sang songs that were intended to lift up the spirits of the attendees. No mindless droning this time.
The reception afterwards was held in the church basement, but the catering service made the room as nice as any dining room as found in any restaurant. People should think about this because it's probably a lot less expensive and a lot more convenient.
I'm going to more and more funerals, I think. I'm at the age where my peers are dropping off slowly and my friends' parents are most likely already in the winter of their lives. However, the siblings of the departed demonstrated that while their bodies were declining, their minds were still agile and razor-sharp.
I don't go to church but I was noticing some of the nicer touches. Some of the singing was good and the choir was *very* talented; it was uplifting instead of being depressing or boring. They should have bibles in the pews; if non-churchgoer shows up to pay their respects, they're going to still be bored by the proceedings. Give them something to read and what would be better than having them read the bible? I didn't care for the readings because they were selected from a pre-determined list of bible writings; I would have preferred something from the heart. I could think of other things that would have been more inspiring, particular in relation to the deceased. I'm not particularly religious which is not to say that that I don't believe in God. I do; it's just that I believe in having private, not public, conversations with God. In the unlikely event that God chooses to stick in his two cents in my business and *talk back*, I don't want anyone else to hear. Besides, there are so many religions that say you'll go to hell if you don't believe in *their* religion; I want to keep my options open and not burn my bridges too soon.
There's also that basic rule in the universe, a certain version of which is attributed to the very wise George Carlin. It's goes something like this:
All religions break down into pretty much the same philosophy: "Don't lie, cheat, or steal, and *do* be good to your family, friends, and neighbors. The rest is just details."I can think of some religions that might want to remember that big picture.
Or better yet, my favorite line from my favorite TV show, Stargate SG-1: "There is only one thing over which you have control in your life: whether you are good...or evil." Better start cramming now because there's going to be a pop quiz one of these days.
Eulogies are fine and all, but I think that they have one common failing: they're too late.
Morry Schwartz, the subject of the best-selling book, Tuesdays with Morry, had the right idea. Morry had ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, and he knew he was going to die and it wasn't going to be much fun. He decided that he wanted to attend his funeral service so he organized his own memorial service and invited all his friends to show up and speak as if they were at his real funeral. He reserved front row center for himself so he wouldn't miss a word. Some things should be said now instead of later.
Having a suit ahead of time is a good idea. It saves some stress and time in scrambling for a suit to wear on that unhappy occasion. Plus if you have to wear a suit for the occasion, you might as well take the time pick out a *nice* suit. It wouldn't hurt to make an impression on those relatives you don't see very often. A basic black funeral suit can only be used for...funerals (I had one of those once). Likewise with ugly shoes (those too). Assume you're going to be asked to be a pallbearer and everyone's going to be looking at you.
For a while, I always wanted a phrase that would stand the test of time, something deep and philosophical. For all practical purposes, tombstones and gravemarkers are forever, so it's your last chance to leave a message for posperity. I had always thought that something like "He wore the white hat." would be a nice message, but I'm not sure future generations would get the cultural reference. The humorous side of me also likes "I told you I was sick.", but it's already taken. Right now, I'm thinking of something that defines what I do:
"He danced with a lot of women.Ya, I can live with that.
It was a tough job but someone had to do it."